Mayor resigns after arson attack on his house

Mayor resigns after arson attack on his house

The mayor of a seaside resort in France has resigned after his house was set on fire over a controversial plan for a reception center for asylum seekers, sparking widespread outrage from the political class up to the top of the state on Thursday.

The home of Yannick Morez, mayor of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins (West), was the victim of an arson attack in March, in connection with the highly controversial relocation of a reception center for asylum seekers, which resulted in no injuries seekers, existing since 2016, near a kindergarten.

“I made this decision for personal reasons, particularly after the arson attack on my home and the lack of government support, and after much deliberation with my family,” Mr. Morez announced on Facebook Wednesday night.

“The attacks against Yannick Morez, Mayor of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, and his family are outrageous. I reaffirm my solidarity and that of the nation with this elected representative of the Republic, his wife and his children,” Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter.

“What happened is very shocking and I would like to give the mayor my full support,” added the Prime Minister. Elisabeth Borne also expressed her desire to “better protect the mayors” and suggested that Mr Morez receive him “next week”.

“Measures have been taken” to ensure the protection of the mayor, contradicted the prefect of Loire-Atlantique, Fabrice Rigoulet-Roze, during a press conference.

“He recently had interviews with the National Gendarmerie soldiers to assess the intimidation and pressure he was feeling,” he added.

The fact that this fire is linked to the relocation of a reception center for asylum seekers “shows that extremism is on the rise in our country and of course we have to be very, very vigilant on this issue,” she added.

The seaside resort of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins opened a reception center for asylum seekers (Cada) in 2016. The latter have to move to a building under construction next to a kindergarten.

Several demonstrations against this project were organized at the call of the extreme right, in particular the Reconquest movement, Éric Zemmour’s party.

Mayor resigns after arson attack on his house

Mayor resigns after arson attack on his house

On the left, all parties have denounced the situation that prompted Mr Morez to resign. “The inaction of the state is an absolute disgrace. What is he waiting for to act?” tweeted Fabien Roussel (Communist Party), while Marine Tondelier (EELV, ecologist) judged that “the Republic is in retreat”.

For her part, Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Assembly (far right), who did not join the National Assembly’s applause in support of Yannick Morez on Wednesday night, called the attacks and intimidation “inadmissible” on Twitter on Thursday. “In the Republic, political disagreements are settled at the ballot box or in court. There are no exceptions to this rule,” she added.

In Strasbourg, at the request of their colleague Raphaël Glucksmann (Place Publique, left), dozens of MEPs stood up in the plenary hall of the European Parliament in honor of Yannick Morez.